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Ep. 13: Running an Online Boutique Like a Boss with Shalay Pierce

Ep. 13: Running an Online Boutique Like a Boss with Shalay Pierce

About Episode 13:

In this episode of Dreamer’s Den Podcast, owner of Shay’s Boss Babes Boutique Shalay Pierce breaks down what it takes to maintain a successful online business in the midst of a full lifestyle. After running into closed doors in the fashion and retail industry, she paved her own way and is celebrating her second year in business.

Add full time full time wife, mom and employee to her list and you have a recipe for superwoman. Press play to learn more about:

  1. Investments you need to make for a successful online boutique.
  2. The best way to market your business online and offline.
  3. Breaking into the business of wardrobe styling.
  4. How to get it all done as a wife, mother and entrepreneur.

IG@shaysbossbabes
Facebook: Shays Boss Babes Boutique
Twitter: @shaysbossbabes
Website: Welcome to Shay’s Boss Babes Boutique

Running an Online Boutique Like a Boss with Shalay Pierce

Transciption:

Danielle: Welcome back for another episode of Dreamer’s Den Podcast. I’m your host, Danielle Towner and today we have with us Shalay Pierce of Shay’s Boss Babes Boutique. It’s an online boutique and she’s been in business for two years on May, 22nd. So you have an anniversary coming up and this is her birthday month.

Shalay: Yes.

Danielle: So, she has a lot to celebrate this month and she’s starting it off — kicking off on Dreamer’s Den to tell you all about how she got started, her story and give you some inspiration to do a few things of your own.

Getting Started with an Online Fashion Boutique

So, first she’s going to tell us about how she got started. So, a lot of people say that they’ve been into fashion since they were very young. Some of them go the route of starting a boutique versus modeling or designing. So, what’s your story behind starting a clothing boutique.

Shalay: Okay so, I’ve always had an interest in helping people pick out outfits and how to wear them — like family, friends, but I didn’t take it seriously until after college. I tried to get a job in the retail fashion industry because I saw that I was more interested in that even though I did go to school for criminal justice. But when I tried to get a job in the field, doing anything in regards to retail, they all denied me due to not having any experience. And since I’m like “I have an interest in it. I have a passion for it. Since no one’s going to give me an opportunity, then I’m going to make my own opportunity.” And then that’s how Shay’s Boss Babes Boutique came about.

Danielle: Awesome! And I’ve heard that. I’ve experienced that. Even in this day and age, I continue to hear people who want these opportunities and who are looking for things and then they come to “well, you don’t have any experience”. And then, it’s like well how do I get the experience if I’m not granted an opportunity?

Shalay: Right.

Danielle: But, that’s so awesome to hear. I love to hear people saying, “this didn’t turn out the way I wanted it to, but I made my own way.” I didn’t lay down and stay defeated, so that’s awesome.

Breaking Into the Wardrobe Styling Profession

So, tell us about your wardrobe styling service because you take it beyond a boutique and just offering products. You have wardrobe styling service, so how does that work?

Shalay: So, it really depends on the service. When I first was getting into it, I do makeup as well. So, I would go to do makeup at fashion shoots, and then I would end up picking out the outfits that they would do for the shoots after I would do their makeup. So, I’m like “okay, well I’m putting together the outfits for this just helping out. I should be able to do it on my own.”

So, it kind of depends on the service. I can help someone find an outfit for a certain event or an occasion or I can organize your closet and put together some outfits that way or we can go out and I can help you get a few wardrobe outfits for the season.

So, it really depends on the needs of the clients. I would do a consultation just to get a feel for what they’re looking for and then we’d just go from there.

Danielle: Okay. Perfect. That’s a good way to diversify your income and what you’re doing in the field of fashion and it just opens more doors for you.

Shalay: Yeah, they say to be a millionaire you need a couple of streams of income so I’m trying to get my multiple streams in.

Danielle: Right. Right.

What Type of Investment Does an Online Clothing Store Need

Now, speaking of streams and the investment side of it. Some advice for those who might want to break into the industry. What type of investment should someone expect to make? Whether it be their time, their money, their emotional investment, their sweat equity, to start a boutique and get it off the ground, what kind of investment should they expect to make?

Shalay: It’s a huge investment, whether it be time or money because you have to do a lot of research to not only make sure the business is legal, but to also make sure that depending on what you’re doing that you have good vendors or manufacturers. Or if you’re doing the designing yourself to make sure that you have the inventory. And then there’s different forms of shipping. Are you shipping yourself or are you doing drop shipping. Then there’s marketing. So, it can be very time consuming, but that’s with any business. So you want to make sure you’re investing in something that you have a passion for and not necessarily something that you’re doing on the side to make money.

Danielle: Right.

Shalay: Because if you have a passion for it, you’re going to find the time to do it but if it’s just something you’re trying to do as a side hustle, it might fall to the wayside. So, it’s a huge investment mentally and financially. It just depends on what you’re doing, so — I have a full time job as well and I also have a one-year-old so I have to find time in between that.

Danielle: Oh. That’s a lot.

Shalay: Right, and I’m a wife so I have to tend to all those things, and then figure out when I’m going to plug in time for my business. So sometimes I have to get up really early or sometimes I have to stay up really late. Then there’s no off days. I may be off from work with my real job, but then I’m not off because that means in that time that I’m off from work I need to work on my business.

Danielle: Yeah.

Shalay: Because they say you give part time results — you put part time into, you’re going to get part time results. So I try to make sure any time that I have, whether the baby’s taking a nap that I try to put that into my business. If it’s as simple as making a post or some type of marketing. So yeah, it’s a huge investment and it’s very time consuming.

Danielle: Awesome. So that’s the real side of it people and I can definitely relate to you because I have a one-year-old, so I can relate to the luxury of nap times and just taking advantage of any free time that you have when before that you may not have appreciated it so much. But I can relate.

Shalay: Um hm.

Best Way to Promote an Online Boutique

Danielle: So what are your favorite tools that you use to promote your business when you’re making those posts?

Shalay: All social media platforms are good. I preferably like IG (Instagram) just because people that may not follow you, they might have access for the simple fact of the hashtags. So if you’re using a common hashtag and somebody might look on that page, you get more traffic from that to your site even though they don’t follow you.

So, out of the Twitter,  Facebook and SnapChat, I like IG the best. But word-of-mouth and pop-up shops are always because. It’s better for me because I only have an online boutique. It’s better for me because some people are hesitant because they don’t know their sizes or they don’t know how it’s going to look in person. They’re just looking at a picture.

So me being out and doing pop-up shops where they can actually touch and feel the product works better for me than just being on social media.

Danielle: Okay.

Shalay: So, I would say being in front of the people is better. But as far as the social media aspect, IG is definitely the best for me.

Danielle: And you know a lot of people are switching to digital and a lot of companies, even larger companies are going digital, but I’ve heard that too. That — from different businesses– that you still need to get out in front of the people and get to know people and that networking translates to online. Because they’ll get to know you and they’ll be more apt to doing business with you and sending you more clients.

Shalay: Exactly.

Danielle: So, what do you see for the future. You’re approaching another anniversary. What do you see when you think about the time that’s past and what you put into it and where you’re going? What do you see for the future of Shay’s Boss Babes Boutique?

The Future of Shay’s Boss Babes Boutique

Shalay: Expansion and growth, and making the brand bigger and better, and hopefully expanding it to sell more than just women’s clothing. To add other people as well instead of just catering to women. I plan to expand. But the first year that I had my business when I launched, I found out I was pregnant a week before I launched.

Danielle: Oh wow!

Shalay: So I was kind of slow when I first came out. I did probably like one pop-up and then I was pregnant. But now, he’s a year old. I’m able to do more. So, I had a pop-up shop for Valentine’s Day, and then I’ll be in my first fashion show this upcoming Sunday on May the 5th.

So I’m having a lot more opportunities coming this second year because I’m able to get out there more. So I’m really excited. I think it’s going to be a good year for my brand. I think a lot more people are going to be taking notice to it, so I’m just excited.

Danielle: Well, I’m excited for you. It sounds like it’s been quite the journey already and I’m excited for you. You sound like you’re on fire for your business and I wish you all the best with it.

Shalay: Thank you so much. Thank you so much for having me and I just want to let all your listeners know — anybody that’s listening to this podcast if you go to https://shaysbossbabes.com/, anything that you get if you use the PROMO Code: DREAMERS , you’ll get 15% off your purchase. 

Danielle: Oh!

Shalay: And that is for all your listeners.

Danielle: Awesome! Thank you so much.

Shalay: My pleasure.

Danielle: I know they’ll appreciate that.

Danielle: Well, I appreciate you coming on and for everyone out there listening, if you have any more questions for Shalay or for me, there is a voicemail button that will be on this podcast. You can just press that button and leave your questions and we will get back to you. But other than that, thank you guys for listening and as I always say, “Dream Until your Dream Comes True”.

Danielle Towner | Entrepreneur + Digital Creative Resources

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